Etgar Keret Sapir prize
Photo via Etgar Keret Facebook

Ben-Gurion University Lecturer given Israel’s most prestigious literary award

Etgar Keret, renowned Israeli author and lecturer in the Department of Hebrew Literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), has received Israel’s most prestigious literary award, the Sapir Prize, for his collection of short stories, “A Glitch at the Edge of the Galaxy.”

“I’m surprised … it’s the happiest thing in the world. But like love or gifts, it’s not something you can strive for. It just happens,” Keret said. “Israeli book prizes are much more important to me than literature prizes awarded overseas. This is the language I write in; this is where I live and that’s the most important thing.”

The Sapir Prize carries a $47,000 cash award and support for the book’s translation into two languages: Arabic and a language of the author’s choosing.

A Glitch at the Edge of the Galaxy,” published in Hebrew by Kinneretz Zmora-Bitan Dvir, features 24 short stories of varying lengths. The stories, written in clear, everyday Hebrew, touch on a range of emotional issues in Israeli society: Holocaust remembrance, euthanasia, loneliness and intellectual disability.

Other selections tackle lighter subjects. One follows a goldfish who jumps out of his aquarium home in the middle of the night in order to watch television.

Keret’s work has also been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Norwegian and Swedish. He is married to artist Shira Geffen.